The Easter chicks are not the only ones who’ve just had a big move – the little Ameraucanas came just after them! At 5-weeks old, the same age as the Easter chicks when they moved to the little coop, the Ameraucanas are significantly smaller. Of course, what they lack in size is made up for in zippy speed and great flying ability! I had come into the bathroom to find it covered in poo and chicks, and so these little fliers were confined to their brooder with netting over the top. They were very unhappy, and so I knew they would be thrilled with their new digs, complete with a real roost and access to the great outdoors!
Before they could move, I had to thoroughly clean and disinfect the little coop and allow it to dry. I also raked and swept their yard to get rid of as much poo and feathers as possible. Like the other chicks, they were moved after dark (three at a time in a large, lined bowl), confined to their coop for a couple of days, and then allowed to roam. They still seem so small that I’ve been letting them out only about six hours a day, but it seems to be enough for them and they are happy to snuggle back onto their roost at 6 pm! Very cute.
As for gender, you can tell both of these colors of Ameraucanas by the way they feather in. The Wheaton’s feathers are dark near the root, nearly black. He’s a boy. The Silver Ameraucana girls chests come in “salmon,” a lightly patterned greyish brown. Perhaps it will seem more salmon as they grow. The Silver boys chests come in dark black. Of the 5 Silvers, 3 are boys and 2 are girls. Of the girls, one has incorrectly colored legs, so I won’t be using her for breeding. Sigh. I will certainly keep both girls, one as just a layer and the other as a breeder, and I’ll pick the best boy for my Silver Ameraucana pair.